Group demands Suncor withdraw plan for wind farm
A group opposed to industrial wind turbines in Plympton-Wyoming is calling on Suncor to “immediately” withdraw its plans for a wind farm in the community.
Chairperson Peter Aarssens made the demand Thursday in Camlachie, accompanied by the six other We’re Against Industrial Turbines – Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT -PW) board members.
Suncor has a provincial contract to sell electricity from up to 62 turbines it plans to build in Plympton-Wyoming and neighbouring Lambton Shores as part of its Cedar Point Wind Power Project.
“It is our expectation,” Aarssens said, “given the abundant and well reasoned opposition expressed by so many of our residents, that Suncor will withdraw their plans immediately.”
The company is holding public meetings about its wind farm on April 18, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Camlachie Community Centre, and April 19, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Legion hall in Forest.
Suncor spokesman Michael Southern said the project is in the public consultation phase.
“The reason for that public consultation is to gather feedback from the community, both for and against the project,” Southern said.
“I’m sure that we’re going to hear a variety of opinions” at the public meetings the company’s holding, he added.
WAIT-PW is holding its own public town hall meeting April 19, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Camlachie Community Centre with speakers that include people living near turbines and a naturalist who will talk about the impact on birds.
Residents will be invited to express their views about wind farms, Aarssen said.
The recently formed citizens group has also set up a website – http://www.wait-pw.ca – that, in just a few days, has gathered more than 100 names on a petition against wind farms, Aarssens said.
He said the group plans to continuing posting information on its website and may hold more public meetings.
Aarssens asked, “Should less than 62 property owners and a single corporation forever change the landscape of Plympton-Wyoming?”
Doing that, he added, “would be insensitive and perhaps irresponsible.”
Building turbines creates a large “carbon footprint,” harms property values and birds, divides communities and alters “vistas that residents and tourists have long held as sacrosanct,” he said.
Plympton-Wyoming’s farmland is better suited to raising livestock and grain, “and not the planting of hundreds of yards of concrete deep into the ground beneath massive, towering structures,” he said.
Aarssens said turbines will “contribute to the de-population of rural regions” as people avoid living near them.
Once built, wind turbines create few full-time jobs and often produce electricity during off-peak hours when it’s not needed, he said.
He also criticized Ontario Green Energy Act for taking planning approvals for wind farm projects away from municipal councils.
“Industrial wind farms are bad for Ontario and they are bad, particularly, for our rural communities,” Aarssens said.